Detective Comics #27 Offered, Without Reserve, at Heritage Auctions

NEW YORK - A CGC-graded 6.5 copy of Detective Comics #27 (DC, 1939), the first appearance of “The Bat-Man,” is expected to bring more than $500,000 when it comes across the auction block on at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute of America) on Feb. 21-22 as the centerpiece of Heritage Auctions’ Vintage Comics & Comic Art Signature® Auction.


“If you've followed the sales in recent years of this prime pop culture collectible, then you know that the issue is currently the second most valuable comic in the hobby,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President of Heritage Auctions, “behind only Superman's debut in Action Comics #1. This comic has held down the number one spot before and it's certainly possible that it could return there. Batman is a stronger character than Superman in the minds of many a fan right now, and has certainly been a bigger box-office hit in recent years.”

Heritage famously sold a CGC 8.0 graded copy of Detective Comics #27 for $1,075,500 in February of 2010 and, last year, sold the Billy Wright pedigree copy (also graded 6.5) for $522,000.


“This particular copy is notable for the near-complete absence of smudging or staining on the front cover,” added Steve Borock, Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions. “Of course, the cover image by Bob Kane is one of the most famous in the history of comics.”

An undeniably classic piece of Silver Age comic art, John Romita’s Amazing Spider-Man #121 cover for “The Night Gwen Stacy Died,” is creating huge buzz within the collecting community, as it’s expected that it will bring $200,000+.


“In the minds of many, this comic book was the moment that Silver Age ended and comics lost their innocence,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Auction Operations for the Comics Category at Heritage. “Spider-Man and the Marvel Age of Heroes were never quite so merry after this dark story, which fans still talk about, and which is still one of the most shattering deathblows in comics. We expect top collectors will come after this piece with everything they have.”


What may well be the crown jewel of original Watchmen art is also prominently featured in the auction, as Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen #1 cover art, the classic, most-recognizable image of all the covers of the series, is expected to exceed $100,000 when it comes up for bid. It hails from The Shamus Modern Masterworks Collection. It is joined in the auction by the cover art for Watchmen #2 and #3, and marks the beginning of the auction of all 12 Watchmen covers, with three in each of the next three Heritage comics events following this auction.


After the sale of a Calvin and Hobbes 1986 published Sunday comic strip, hand-colored by creator Bill Watterson, sold for more than $200,000 in November of 2012 - the first published Calvin and Hobbes strip to be sold at public auction - Heritage has come back in the February auction with another Watterson original, this time a Calvin and Hobbes daily strip originally published on Nov. 3, 1986. It is expected to bring $50,000+.


“This is the third time that we’ve had the chance to auction a published piece of Calvin and Hobbes artwork,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage. “This piece is generating just as much excitement with fans and collectors as the last two.”


Further highlights include, but are not limited to:


Al Feldstein, Weird Science-Fantasy Annual #1 Cover Original Art (EC, 1952): Classic 1950s stuff with a shapely gal and a BEM (bug-eyed monster). Estimate $50,000+.


Jack Kirby Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 Original Art (DC, 1970): A key issue. First Jack Kirby “Fourth World” cover and the first Kirby comic to hit newsstands after he left Marvel for DC. Some point to this as the beginning of the Bronze Age of comics. Estimate $50,000+.


Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Returns #4, Last Page of Entire Series (DC, 1986): A scene most anyone who read the story will remember, and an upbeat moment from this dark saga. Estimate: $50,000+.


Brian Bolland, Batman: The Killing Joke Page 38 Original Art (DC, 1988): There was only one Killing Joke graphic novel, so there aren’t many pages to go around, and this one has a formidable shot of Batman. Estimate $30,000+.


Detective Comics #35 CGC 3.0: A classic early Batman cover and a comic almost never found in unrestored condition. Estimate $8,000+.


Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and 750,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit


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